A New Season
This time last year, I was tanking. I had completely fallen into the chaos, fear, scarcity, and isolation that had characterized our society over the previous six months. It took me all of four months to regress into the autopilot of my pre-transformation lifestyle. I left behind my daily routines and habits as I recognized pain and autoimmune flares that I had not experienced for 10 years.
After realizing that I was once again surviving with my autoimmune diseases, I made a decision. Feeling literally like I had been transported back in time 12 years, I made the choice to once again take my life back. More specifically, my lifestyle. I knew that I had transformed my health with lifestyle choices once, I could do it again. So last year, at this same time, I set out on transformation 2.0. I could no longer deal with the pain, flares, exhaustion, depression, fear, and hopelessness. So with these 3 steps, this is what happened!
- I set the intention. I knew that I had successfully transformed from surviving to thriving before so logic would tell me I could do it again. I literally re-read my own book! 8 Lessons Lupus Taught Me: From Surviving to Thriving With Autoimmune Diseases
- I put into action the mechanisms necessary to get back to thriving. I did them through the fall and winter. Sometimes you just have to do the work and put the road under you.
- I re-engaged and finished what I started. You may remember that we were in the middle of a 50 state book tour the year I turned 50 to share the message of thriving with autoimmune disease and doing the Change Your Story presentations and book signings. When the shutdown happened we were of course grounded from travel and unable to complete our southern route or cruise to Alaska. I did not do any book promotions or speaking, even online, because I just didn't feel like I could share thriving in the middle of a global pandemic.
As spring emerged and I was making progress with my transformation, I had a realization that it was more important than ever for me to get back out there, whatever it had to look like. So we scheduled and rescheduled the remaining states, rerouting and adjusting as schedules, precautions, closures, and such permitted. Finally, in June it was time to go and we knew there would be no live presentations or book signings but we could still share hope and I was feeling about 80% with my health and transformation 2.0. Somehow we completed 24 states in 21 days and shared informal hope sessions with people all across the country.
Three weeks later we had another major travel that was not a part of the original 50 in 50. All of our family was invited to Mexico to celebrate our wedding anniversaries and my daughter's 10th-anniversary vow renewal. What an amazing opportunity! I have to admit I was nervous. I had not traveled internationally since pre 9/11 and not flown since covid. We had just returned from this exhausting southern route. Would my health hold up? Despite the apprehension, I had a commitment to family and self and went. I came back from Mexico feeling that I was 90%. Flares were at bay, pain was minimal, and my energy was improving.
Finally, three weeks after the return from Mexico we had the trip to Alaska, the final state to finish our 50 state tour. I am happy to report that as we finished what we started (plus some) I am now at 100%. I am once again thriving with autoimmune diseases and it only took me 9 months rather than the 5 years it did for my original transformation.
I have realized that we need this lifestyle program now more than ever. We need the structure and support more than ever. Most things coming at us from the media and social media, from family and friends are at a rapid rate, a lot of fear, and a lot of survival.
I want to give you permission to embrace who you are. Embrace your autoimmune disease(s). Embrace the struggle. Embrace it. My commitment to you is that I will hold space for you and give you a voice of intention, a voice of purpose, a voice of helping you remember who you were born to be. Holding that space in this chaos and commotion of our world. Holding that space for you to hope.
Hope that what I'm telling you is true. Hope that there is a better way. Hope that you can trust your body. Hope that you can live without pain. Hope that you can live with energy. Hope that you can have a good relationship with food, with your body, with work...whatever it is you are struggling with. Hope that it doesn't have to be hard.
As I introduce Living WOW and its tenets to you, I invite you to join me. Let's explore maybe a different way than you've done previously. Maybe consider that there is a different way. Maybe even consider that it's a better way. Because the one thing we all know to be true is that if you want to have the lifestyle and health you have then keep doing what you are doing. But if you want to be a little bit better. If you want to not hurt as much. If you want to be more present and engage with your family more. If you want to do that thing that's been eating at you in the back of your head or the pit of your stomach telling you that it's time. I want to invite you to join our community. Come hang out where there's hope. Consume the content of thriving. Consider WOW and learn to recognize SAD and where it is sabotaging your happiness and your health. Where it is sabotaging you.
I invite you to live WOW. I invite you to join this journey-this road that we're on. I'll be your guide. I know where some of the road construction needs to be. I know where the beautiful vistas are where we can pull off and take it in. I've been through the white knuckle passes in the snow and ice and I want you to travel a different season, or maybe be more prepared so it's not so terrifying.
In the coming weeks, you will have the opportunity to learn more about living WOW and the metaphor I have created to help you understand EXACTLY what is happening in your body and how to understand what it means and how to facilitate healing so that you can thrive with your autoimmune disease(s). As I have re-transformed and navigated these familiar paths yet in very different circumstances, I have defined and refined living WOW to be a simple, effective and fun framework that you can understand and replicate no matter your situation. I promise it won't hurt and it just might help.
I invite you to bring along your friends and families, especially those who are struggling with autoimmune disease(s) to join us on this journey to thriving. Follow, share and engage because I believe we need this program now more than ever and I am committed to empowering those with autoimmune disease to thrive and understanding that there is a better way.
To be continued...